FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 7, 2011
Back to the Future?
Hermann and Rowland’s
Rhetoric Doesn’t Match Their Record
Kansas City – Mayor Mayor Mark Funkhouser today
held a press conference in front of the Prospect North Redevelopment area of Kansas City.
In the press conference,
Mayor Funkhouser exposed two of his opponents, Deb Hermann and Jim Rowland, for being behind many of the bailouts, boondoggles and blunders that led him to run for mayor four years ago and have compelled him to run for re-election.
Hermann and Rowland’s TIF
During one of the most
aggressive periods of tax giveaways from 2003 to 2005, the two Mayoral-hopefuls rubber-stamped 120 TIF deals (plans, projects and amendments). And from 2006 to 2007, Deb Hermann voted for 70 additional TIF deals. This year, the city has to pay $30 million to under-performing Super TIF projects that Hermann and Rowland approved.
Debt and Taxes
While Hermann and Rowland served together on the City Council, the city issued $1 billion in debt, much of it going for bars, restaurants, hotels and parking garages. Together, they supported tripling the debt from $517 million in 2003 to $1.43 billion in 2007.
Hermann and Rowland paid for
their taxpayer giveaways and debt with more taxes. From 2003 to 2006, the city’s total direct tax rate increased by 12.4%.
“I was there, as auditor, and
saw what these two fiscal frauds were doing to the city, ” said Mayor Mark Funkhouser. “Giveaways to developers, out of control TIF projects that cost Kansas City taxpayers millions upon millions and other crazy development schemes coming from politicians like Hermann and Rowland are the reasons why I ran for mayor in the first place.”
“Rowland and Hermann, the
King and Queen of TIF, helped lead the city to the brink of fiscal disaster,” said Mayor Mark Funkhouser. “Their election year makeover doesn’t match their record. Hermann and Rowland will send the city back to the bad old days of rubber-stamping TIFs, issuing debt and raising taxes.”